Outside alcohol policy at Deer Valley summer concert series draws ire

PARK CITY, Utah — Back in March, Deer Valley announced, “Due to Utah State Law, Deer Valley is no longer able to allow outside alcohol to be brought into the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater. Bags and cooler checks will be conducted upon entry into the venue.”

The Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater is home to the beloved free Wednesday night concerts and a lineup of for-purchase ticketed events, which have, until recently, been BYOB. Concert attendees on Wednesday nights brought family, met up with friends, and elaborate picnic setups to a packed hillside. This year the hillside is looking greener than ever.

The initial announcement of change in alcohol policy was met with much concern by long-term locals and event-goers, with 87% of respondents to a TownLift reader poll responding with “BYOB or bust”.

The concerns voiced included:

“This is not a long standing tradition – it has been going on from the beginning and I have been going that long. Have never seen a problem. Sounds like a money making trend for Deer Valley. So much for what has and is happening to Park City.”

“One of the few locals events the big ski companies had not ruined…”

Deer Valley responded to those initial concerns by saying, “To offer the best guest experience for all concert attendees we have decided to change the business model and apply for single event permits for the concerts. This event license allows us to sell beer, wine, and mixed drinks.”

Now that the concert series is well underway, many community members remain skeptical with the new policy and change in the vibe of the event.

“I personally loved having to dump out my kids water bottle at the entrance. Really set the mood for the night. What was even better were the plain clothes DV employees pacing the crowd looking for contraband. Such a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere. I will not return until things change, and most that I have talked to share that sentiment.

Oh, and the $14 beer was a real nice touch…”

“This did not work well at all last night. The lines were long. You are only permitted to carry one glass per person up the hill to your seat. They do not sell bottles. They are selling wines by the glass for about the price you’d pay for a bottle if you brought your own. $45 for a glass of pinot noir? Something else on the menu was $90 a glass. On the cheaper end, expect to pay about $15. I think Parkites are sending a message to Alterra because the venue was only about half full. I felt bad for Stewart Copeland and the USO. Hard to imagine that DV will recoup the lost ticket sales revenue by selling beer and wine. They have lost a lot of goodwill.”

BTW, we went to Red Butte Gardens earlier in the week. The show was sold out, outside alcohol is permitted and people were happy.”

Others have been willing to support the change in policy in exchange for Deer Valley’s efforts to bring good music and a free event to Park City.

“Can everyone just remember that’s these concerts are free. If they don’t make money they will just take them away all together. I love our local music. I’m willing to buy a beer to keep it going.”

Have you been to a show yet this season? What did you think? Comment below.

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